South Africa keeps RWC2019 hopes alive after win over Italy

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FUKUROI, JAPAN - OCTOBER 04: Cheslin Kolbe of South Africa celebrates after scoring his team's third try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between South Africa v Italy at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa on October 04, 2019 in Fukuroi, Shizuoka, Japan. (Photo by Warren Little - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
FUKUROI, JAPAN – OCTOBER 04: Mbongeni Mbonambi of South Africa celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between South Africa v Italy at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa on October 04, 2019 in Fukuroi, Shizuoka, Japan. (Photo by Francois Nel – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

South Africa kept alive its hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup following a 49-3 win against 14-man Italy at Shizuoka Stadium on Friday.

The South Africans ran in seven unanswered tries to claim a second successive win and go top of Pool B ahead of Italy and New Zealand.

The Springboks’ tries came courtesy of Cheslin Kolbe, who scored twice; Bongi Mbonambi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, RG Snyman and Malcolm Marx. Fly-half Handre Pollard added 14 points through the boot.

Tomasso Allan scored Italy’s only points through a penalty.

Italy lost prop Simone Ferrari in the third minute through a leg injury and he was replaced by Marco Riccioni. Riccioni, himself, left the field after 18 minutes for a head injury assessment, which he failed.

Tries from Kolbe and Mbonambi coupled with two conversions and a penalty from Pollard saw the Boks head into the break leading 17-3.

The Italians were reduced to 14 men three minutes after the restart after Andrea Lovotti was sent off for lifting Duane Vermeulen in a tackle and dropping him on his head.

Pieter-Steph du Toit had a try disallowed not long afterward as television replays showed that Boks captain Siya Kolisi had blocked Italian scrum-half Tito Tebaldi in the build-up.

Further tries from Am, Mapimpi, Snyman and Marx and another 7 points from Pollard saw the two-time world champions finish the must-win game on an emphatic note.

South Africa will next play Canada at the Misaki Park Stadium in Kobe on Tuesday.

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